If the development of open source Scrum tools was in vogue some years ago, a lot of these projects have now been abandoned. Some are still active, but this is because their development is sponsored by a commercial hosted option. There is however an alternative to manage your Agile software development projects if you have a low budget… and a small team. Some providers of commercial Scrum tools provide a free version of their software, often with some limitations.
Tools for Scrum and Agile Project Management
In the context of software development, Kanban is an approach based on Lean that tries to limit waste and work in progress to the actual capacity of the software development team. The aim of Kanban is to create a context that balances capacity and demand through a value stream and promote visual project management.
The first thing to say is that the term “Planning Poker®” is a registered trademark of Mountain Goat Software, the Mike Cohn company. This is why this agile planning practice could be sometimes names differently: scrum poker, agile poker, etc. This article presents a list of open source planning poker tools and plugins that are also directly available as online tools.
Trello is a free on-line project management tool owned by Atlassian that provides a flexible and visual way to organize anything. This approach is naturally close to the visual boards used in the Scrum or Kanban approaches. As the tool as an open architecture, some extensions have been developed for a better implementation of Agile project management in Trello and provides additional features like Scrum burndown charts or the implementation of WIP limits.
Many Scrum teams are based on a distributed organization where members are in different locations, countries or time zones. How could these Agile teams perform their retrospectives? Some companies have developed online tools that can be used to facilitate retrospectives for distributed Scrum teams.
Even if Agile approaches favor collocated teams, distributed Scrum teams are more common that what you might think. Many Agile software development teams are based on a virtual organization. This article presents some free online tools that can be used to facilitate retrospectives for distributed Scrum teams.
Agile approaches like Scrum recommend a “just enough” attitude in software development and this is also the case when you discuss tools. Ideally, you would work with a small team that is collocated, but this is not always possible and you might be running your project virtually with a distributed Scrum team scattered around the world.